What the f*@& did I just watch…
Okay, so, there’s this girl whose mother just died and her stepfather is a really bad guy. So he does…something bad, I don’t know what, to the girl’s sister. The girl tries to shoot him and something goes wrong and the sister dies. This gives the stepfather room to get rid of the other daughter so that he can get all the inheritance. He has her committed to a mental hospital and pays off an orderly to arrange a lobotomy for her so that she won’t be able to testify against him. So now she has to find a way to escape in the five days remaining to her before the lobotomy. You with me so far? The plot sound okay to you? Because we’re about to take a trip into crazy town.
All of a sudden we’re not in a mental hospital anymore. We’re in some type of dance studio…whore house…place…thing. We get barely any transition. It’s just boom, there we are. I have no idea what’s happening. And it’s done so awkwardly that I have to spend the next 15 minutes trying to reconcile myself with where the movie is now. So now the girl, known as Baby Doll, meets some other girls, only one of which really has a personality. Baby Doll learns that she can dance really well when having really awesome hallucinations about giant robot samurai and zombie Nazis and dragons and orcs and space trains. Baby Doll also learns from one of her hallucinations how to escape from the whore house…or asylum…or wherever we are. Whatever. I barely care anymore. The old man in her hallucination tells her to get a map, fire, a knife, a key and something else in order to escape. This is where the action scenes come in. Each object is turned into a level where Baby Doll and her squad have to make it through the level and beat the big boss in order to find the treasure and escape. And if you think it’s odd that I’m now describing this film as if it were a video game, that’s because that’s what it friggin’ is at this point.
Really, Sucker Punch is a mess in terms of story telling. I have no idea where I am the entire time. I get that when she’s dancing she’s imagining some fantastical setting as a stand in for one of the girls getting the object necessary to escape. But the only interesting parts of the movie are the hallucinations. I don’t give one single crap about any of these characters. The constant starting and stopping of balls to the walls crazy is disorienting and frustrating. Just when I’m getting into a scene it goes back to the boring real world again. Or does it because why are we in a whore house now?! You know what? I’m gonna spoil the ending of the movie now. It’s necessary. We need to talk about the ending. It’s a big example of why this movie just doesn’t work. So again, BIG SPOILERS AFTER HERE. You have been warned. Don’t come bitching to me about it now.
The ending reveals that the entire movie was a dream. Or a hallucination. From the moment she gets there it’s revealed that the events of the movie happened, just in a very boring and normal way. Then she gets lobotomized. She doesn’t escape. Her father and the corrupt orderly are caught by the police through no action of Baby Doll’s. I don’t even think her friends existed. Nothing done in the movie had any consequence whatsoever, thus rendering the entire ordeal entirely pointless. There was no character development. There was no real plot. It all happened in the five seconds before a nail went into a girl’s brain. No. No movie. No no no no no. You don’t get to do that. That’s just stupid.
The movie looks good. I will give it that. The visuals and set pieces are fantastic. It really made me pumped to see Zack Snyder take on Superman when I saw the fight between Baby Doll and the giant samurai robot things. But those sequences take up only about half an hour of a two hour long movie. I would love to say that the spectacle sold this movie, but there just isn’t enough spectacle for that to work. Its not worth making your way through the poor, confusing, muddled plot in order to get to the really cool action sequences. Some people say that high action movies like these are like watching someone play a video game for two hours. No no my friend. That is not what Sucker Punch is like. Sucker Punch is like watching someone watch a cutscene in a video game for two hours. Sometimes something interesting happens, but most of the time you just want to get back to the action.
Really, I like Zack Snyder. I’m a huge fan of his filmography. Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen, they’re all great. But this is a near complete misfire for him. Its not style over substance. Hell, I can enjoy style over substance. I like the Transformers movies. I can get by with a stupid plot and lots of action. But this isn’t that movie. This is style trying to conquer substance but completely failing to do so. As such, I will rate this movie a 30, as that is about as many minutes as all the cool shit in this movie gets.
|It's pretty, it's loud and it has super cool action...at times.||But when that isn't going on, your confused, bored and completely apathetic. Also, the ending makes the entire movie entirely pointless.|